| Sindarin |
|Basic word order:||SVO|
|J. R. R. Tolkien||1917-|
In Tolkien's mythos, it was the Elvish language most commonly spoken in Middle-earth in the Third Age. It was the language of the Sindar, those Teleri which had been left behind on the Great Journey of the Elves. It was derived from an earlier language called Common Telerin. Although the Telerin spoken in Aman remained relatively close to Quenya, Sindarin diverged significantly, so that it was now about as far from Quenya as Brithenig is from Italian. When the Noldor returned to Middle-earth, they adopted the Sindarin language, although they believed their native Quenya more beautiful. Sindarin shared common roots with Quenya, and the two languages had many similar words. Sindarin was said to be more changeful than the older tongue, however, and there were a number of regional 'dialects' of the tongue. The Sindarin spoken in Doriath, known as the Doriathrin dialect, was said to be the highest and most noble form of the language.
Before the downfall, most of the Men of Númenor also spoke the language. Knowledge of it was kept in the Númenórean exile realm of Gondor, especially amongst the learned. Sindarin is the language referred to as the Elven-tongue in The Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien originally imagined that the language which would become Sindarin was spoken by the Noldor (second clan of Elves). However, Tolkien later decided that it was the language of the Sindar. For this reason it is called Noldorin in the older material, such as the Etymologies. When Noldorin became Sindarin, it also adopted some features of Ilkorin, originally a language of a different branch of the Quendian family. Tolkien based the sound and some of the grammar of his Noldorin/Sindarin on Welsh, and Sindarin displays some of the consonant mutations that characterize the Celtic languages. The language was also influenced by Old English and Old Norse.
Within the fiction Sindarin was written in the Cirth alphabet prior to the return of the Noldor to Middle-earth, but afterwards it was usually written in Tengwar.
In the real world the language is usually written in the Latin alphabet, representing a transcription from the "original Tengwar" or "original Cirth". Some Tolkien enthusiasts write in Cirth or Tengwar, using specialized fonts or the Unicode proposal in the ConScript Unicode Registry, but most neo-Sindarin samples are written in the Latin alphabet.